Dust. The dust in the school premises often made Kora wonder why the authorities made it compulsory for students to have shiny shoes. “Did they expect them to carry “kiwi” polish everywhere they went?”, she mused.

On this Tuesday morning, she decided not to take her polish to class, she was tired of being a good student.

On her way out of the hostel, she said hi to a group of girls standing just outside the dormitory, waiting for someone. She said hello to them and noticed that their leader, Eniola was smiling awkwardly at her.

“What’s wrong with that one?” she asked herself. True to it, the dust settled comfortably on her “cortina” shoes, turning it’s color brown, dirty brown.

As she filed behind the one of the much taller girls on the assembly ground, she got a pull from her Form Prefect,

” I don’t know why short people like staying at the back. Would you move forward!” said Senior Shade,

“I’m not short, is it my fault that someone in SS1 is as tall as an iroko tree? And after everything they would say we are mates, taa!” muttered Kora as she grudgingly marched to the front of the line.

” Hey junior girl, what did you just say?”
“Nothing o Senior, I was only …”
“You are lucky!”

Kora managed to fight her way to be the 7th person on the line just in front of Eniola, she wasn’t that short she argued while putting her shoulder side by side the other girls.

She had a long dark hair and light brown eyes. Her pointed nose and dark skin often got people calling her ebony or black gold.

The bell ringer rang the bell and soon the Reverend Father came to say the opening prayers. Eniola pinched an otherwise focused Kora.

“Leave me! Can’t you be holy for some minutes?” said Kora as she shrugged Eniola off.
“Big head, better look up o. See as Senior Ifeanyi is staring at you” Eni whispered.

Kora felt her stomach knot.

“I don’t know what you are talking about! Better leave me before I tell that our bitter form prefect that you are being a complete idiot!” Kora whispered back.

Throughout the assembly, she focused on the boring proceedings.

Senior Ifeanyi was the Labour Prefect, labor prefects were wicked and she couldn’t imagine someone wicked liking her. Besides he was too tall for her liking. She also didn’t want any one making her clean her shoes, in fact she wasn’t interested, she assured herself.

On her way to the dining hall during break time, he stopped her in front of SS2 block.

“Kora kedu?” he said

“Good afternoon Senior, we have been asked not to speak vernacular. So I’m very well, thank you. Besides, not all of us are igbo for God’s sake!”

“You know it’s this your stubbornness eh..” he smiled as held her hands.

She blushed.

“See you know I can’t be seen talking with a Senior na, you know the rules”

“Yea I know,” he said as he handed her a letter.

———————-

She went  to the back of the hostel bathroom to read the letter that evening.

While she was still taking in the big big grammar he had used to express his love, Eniola sprang on her.

“Ije love eeee” she screamed, attracting other members of the dormitory to what was happening.

Kora quickly chewed the paper and spat it out.

She knew no prefect could punish her without evidence. She also knew she and Eniola would never be friends.

———————————
Kora was almost late to the assembly on Wednesday morning. This was so because she took extra care in ironing her uniform, oiling her hair and convincing her bunkmate to lend her an extra kiwi polish, though it made no sense.

She had to look perfect for her new heartthrob.

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